The Green Mountain State
Vermont’s early beer history was slow moving. In fact, in 1798, a Vermont beer law was put in placed, which limited the sale of strong beers, ales, and ciders. The law was removed in 1814, but the 1800s still consisted of very few breweries.
One of the few breweries in the early 1800s was Burlington Brewery, which was producing 12,800 gallons of Vermont beer until an arson fire destroyed it in 1840. The brewery was rebuilt that same year, and continued to serve it beers until it shut the doors for good in the 1880s.
Also in the mid-1800s, hop growing took off with over 600,000 pounds being grown each year. However, the year 1910 arrives and hop production had virtually vanished.
By 1877 it was recorded that there were two breweries, one liquor store, and 433 saloons operating in Vermont. Of course everything shut down with the prohibition, and afterwards in 1935 two men considered alcoholics, Bill Wilson and Bob Smith, started the organization Alcoholics Anonymous where they shared their twelve-steps to sobriety program with others.
The first brewery to open post-prohibition was Catamount Brewery and occurred in 1987. This brewery went on to earn the first GABF award in Vermont, but ended up closing in 2000 and has since been taken over by Harpoon Brewing. The oldest Vermont brewery still in existence today is the Vermont Pub and Brewery, which opened in 1988. Magic Hat Brewing is the largest brewery currently in operation and produces more than 150,000 barrels of Vermont beer each year. In total, breweries of Vermont have earned 22 GABF awards.
There are a few Vermont craft beer festivals that are very popular to attend. The largest of them is the Vermont Brewers Festival, which focuses on strengthening the culture of craft beer and brewing in the state by featuring an extensive list of Vermont beers made by top Vermont breweries.
With so many incredible Vermont craft beers, we have found the most popular and best breweries to visit in Vermont are: The Alchemist Brewery, Backacre Beermakers, Fiddlehead Brewing, Hill Farmstead Brewery/Grassroots Brewing, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, and Zero Gravity Craft Brewery.
We have had the pleasure of featuring some of the best beer in Vermont from one of the best craft breweries in Vermont, which is Trout River Brewing Company. We are always looking for new Vermont craft breweries to add to our monthly craft beer club shipments, and hope to have more in the near future. Cheers!